Exporting to Philippines
Strong consumer market
Both the Philippines population and economy are growing. It also has a large number of foreign workers. These factors are helping to drive a strong consumer market, and luxury items, real estate and service consumption is growing annually. Western goods and services continue to be popular in the Philippines.
Strong UK presence
The UK was in the top 10 foreign investors in the Philippines from 2015-2018 (Philippines Statistic Authority, 2019). UK business, telecoms and financial services have a strong presence and are well recognised, whilst electrical, machinery and pharmaceutical goods (amongst a wide range of others) are the most popular goods.
The government is also actively making it easier to do business in the country, to encourage new business.
Philippines is spreading government and economic activity right across its provinces to become less reliant on its capital city. Infrastructure and transport are being improved, locations to base a business are varied, industries are diverse, and growth outside of the city is encouraged.
Opportunities for exporters
There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Philippines have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors:
Government plans for large-scale investment
The Philippine government is embarking on a specific infrastructure programme. It has allocated 1.534 trillion pesos (approximately $29.8 billion, as of October 2019) to 75 flagship projects to help close the existing gap in public infrastructure (Department of Finance, 2019). Key sectors include rail, aviation, roads, bridges, water and wastewater. UK firms will have vast opportunities to supply specialist services and equipment.
Philippines is the 5th largest economy within the strong 10-member ASEAN Bloc (IMF, 2019). As a founding member, it has advantages such as being the home of the Asian Development Bank, which drives many of the Asia-Pacific development projects. It’s also ideally placed to do business with the wider ASEAN region.
International standards for education and skills
The Philippines has recently passed a law to bring international standards to higher education and vocational training. The nation wants to improve and modernise through programmes and international partnerships, which present opportunities for UK business.
The Philippines has recognised the need to improve its English teaching competency. There is currently no accreditation system in place, but quality English language teaching is in demand to meet overseas employment requirements. The education ministries are keen to attract UK teachers and businesses who specialise in the sector.
Increased use of technology
Educational institutions, from basic education to universities, are being upgraded. Technology is becoming more important as education in the Philippines continues to modernise. The Philippines require capacity-building, curriculum development, software and hardware. Online and distance learning courses are now recognised which opens opportunities for UK higher education specialists to deliver quality degrees and certificates.
Demand for cutting edge IT applications
Businesses are beginning to incorporate artificial intelligence, internet of things and cyber security solutions into banking processes, transportation systems, energy generation & distribution, green buildings and other smart cities applications. The Philippine government are also focusing on technology solutions for airports, rail systems, transport hubs, traffic management, telecommunications and energy.
Analytics and big data
Both government and private enterprise are interested in data management solutions. The Department for Information & Communication Technology (DICT) require a data management platform to enable government agencies to collect, process and manage data effectively. Large private manufacturing, utilities, logistics, banking and retail companies are interested in improving productivity & efficiency.
Healthcare education and training
UK healthcare education and training providers may find opportunities in clinical education and training, professional development, leadership and management training, consultancy and advisory services and emergency response and English for nurses.
Digital health technologies and solutions
Digital health has become a priority to modernise processes, improve data management, and promote efficiency and delivery of healthcare services. Local hospitals and clinics need electronic health records, patient data management, laboratory information systems.
Clinical services in primary care, oncology and diabetes
The Philippines is open to consultancy and possible partnerships in primary care, as well as clinical areas including oncology and diabetes. There are opportunities in primary care consulting and healthcare systems. In addition, there are also opportunities within cancer care consultancy, education, screening, medicine and chemotherapy. There are also opportunities in diabetes management programmes, education, and technologies.
Keen to engage with UK suppliers
The Philippines is looking to shift towards new suppliers of naval assets and equipment. The UK has a strong reputation in the country, and there opportunities for related UK businesses.
The Philippines is seeking solutions to help patrol their vast territorial waters as effectively and efficiently as possible. The nation is looking to engage with UK businesses on reliable and appropriate technologies.